Even as Kerala is witnessing the highest number of Covid cases in the country, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ruled out a complete lockdown, stating that “it will create a huge crisis for the economy and livelihoods”.
“No one supports measures like statewide lockdown. This will create a huge crisis for the economy and livelihoods. Expert opinion is that we need to build social immunity and move back to normal. Caution should not be compromised at all,” he said while addressing local body officials.
He said neighbourhood monitoring committees comprising government officials, local volunteers and residents’ associations would be set up for COVID-19 prevention.
“Local care is paramount. Restrictions should be enforced under the leadership of the Neighborhood Monitoring Committee, Rapid Response Team, Ward Level Committee, Police and Sectoral Magistrate. Intervention to reduce the spread should be done in each area. Everyone in contact with those who are positive should be monitored. If the local bodies, the people’s representatives and the officials are as active as they were in the first phase, we will be able to bring things back to normal as soon as possible,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that while the test positivity rate was between 18 and 20 per cent, Kerala was able to keep the death rate at 0.5 per cent. “Those who are under quarantine in homes should not go out. Such persons will be fined. Committees, including ward level committees, should prioritise the provision of medicines, essentials and treatment for non-Covid diseases to areas declared as containment zones,” the Chief Minister said.
Kerala continues to register a high number of COVID-19 infections daily. The state reported 29,322 new cases and 131 deaths today.